Mansfield Town 2 Southport 2, Tuesday 5th April

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IT was a tale of two halves and two penalties for Mansfield Town as they threw away a two goal lead to draw 2-2 at home to relegation-threatened Southport on Tuesday night, reports Stephen Thirkill.

The FA Trophy finalists looked to be cruising to an easy three points after a commanding first half attacking display, which saw Stags hit the front with a first goal for Connor Higginson and a sweet finish from Louis Briscoe.

But the game turned in the 54th minute when the normally reliable Paul Connor saw his goal drought continue as he failed to wrap the game up from the spot after Adam Murray was hacked down.

It proved to be a crucial miss as the visitors made a mockery of their lowly league position to fight back in fine style.

Despite being outclassed for large chunks of the game the seaside outfit showed the fighting spirit and determination so badly lacking by Mansfield Town throughout the second half.

Aaron Turner reduced the deficit on 57 minutes after tapping home from his own rebound to give Southport some new hope and belief.

It looked like the equaliser would never come as Kissock and Daly both blew golden chances for the resurgent visitors. But Southport got what they deserved in the 83 minutes when Stonehouse tripped substitute Shaun Whalley and Matty McGinn made no mistake from the penalty spot to earn what could be a crucial point in the Merseyside team’s battle to beat the drop.

The second half display will be a major worry for Duncan Russell, who saw his stumbling side throw away not just two points, but vital momentum as the build up to Wembley draws ever nearer - all in front of just 1,467 fans, the lowest League attendance at Field Mill since 1982.

See this week’s Chad, on sale tomorrow, for a full match report and all the latest from Field Mill.